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Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament

Gadara, Gadarenes

GADARA, GADARENES.—In the Authorized Version in Mark 5:1 and Luke 8:26 Jesus is said to have come into the ‘country of the Gadarenes.’ In the Revised Version NT 1881, OT 1885 this is corrected to ‘Gerasenes.’ On the other hand, the Authorized Version in Matthew 8:28 has ‘country of the Gergesenes,’ while the Revised Version NT 1881, OT 1885 has ‘Gadarenes.’ These are the only passages—all referring to the cure of the demoniac and the destruction of the herd of swine—where Gadara is mentioned in Scripture. How the reading Γαδαρηνῶν crept in, or, if original, what exactly it meant, we may not be able to explain satisfactorily, but one thing is certain,—the miracle cannot have taken place at the city of Gadara, the modern Umm Keis. For that town stands on a high plateau on the further side of the wide and extremely steep gorge of the Hieromax river, and is about a 3 hours’ ride distant from the Lake. As Thomson says (LB [Note: The Land and the Book.] ii. p. 354), ‘If the miracle was performed at Gadara, then the swine must have run down the mountain for an hour, forded the deep Jarmuk (Hieromax), ascended its northern bank, and raced across the level plain several miles before they could reach (the nearest margin of the lake—a feat which no herd of swine would be likely to achieve even though they were “possessed.” ’ In short, no one who has seen the position of Gadara would ever dream of locating the miracle there. See Gerasenes.

J. Soutar.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Gadara, Gadarenes'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hdn/g/gadara-gadarenes.html. 1906-1918.

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